This review will appear on Parajunkee.com tomorrow featuring an interview with the author and a giveaway.
This book follows the life of Rick Rowland a rock star. He lives the rock star life to it's fullest. Girls, drugs, booze and music. He thinks he's got it made until one day, while in Greece for his sister's wedding, he realizes he is lonely. The only true companion he's had in years outside of his band is 15 year old Shelby. Shelby is a free spirit who finds a kindred spirit in Rick.
Rick is a very, very complicated character. He was abused horribly by his father from a young age. He became a teenage runaway, and then a rock star. I don't think he ever really had anytime to discover who he was between each new chapter in his life. He meets Shelby and for the first time I think he finally sees that he needs and wants much more in his life than a good party. Shelby completely changes his life. The fact that she is only 15 and he is 24-25, complicates things a lot.
Complicated is exactly how he leaves Greece, and his relationship with Shelby. I realize that a lot of people could find that relationship a little, um, creepy? It was at first. For both myself and for Rick. He isn't a saint, but he does show mountains of responsibility while dealing with Shelby. He truly does care for her. That shows in the writing and care that the author took with the relationship.
I'm going to be completely honest. This is a very, very hard review for me to write. I was way too emotionally involved in the story for so many reasons. I've had my own life fall apart at the hands of other people's drug addictions. So seeing it played out for me in black and white took me back to some scary places. Needless to say this part of the book was....well it was hard to read. I've read books about drug abuse and it didn't affect me. Not like this story did. That is a testament to the author's writing. The fact that I couldn't just breeze through it. It felt real. I felt like I was there watching Rick go through this.
The author gave these scenes justice. She didn't overplay it and make Rick into a demon because of his, well demons. But she didn't sugar coat it and seem like it was "no big deal" either.
How Rick got to that point is almost a heart killing as it is watching him live through it.
The world that Rick, the band, and Shelby all live in is beautiful and real. The backdrop of Greece is perfect. I couldn't think of a more beautiful place to fall in love. The author painted a very vivid physical and emotional picture. Her writing is definitely on point in this book. Rick and Shelby's relationship have moments of physical passion, especially as they bump into each other through the years, but the real passion comes from their emotional relationship.
I just can't say enough about how amazing this book is. It's one of those books that you white knuckle through in one day and then feel completely empty and emotionally spent after reading. It's not for a light reading day. It will be too hard to put down. You have to see Rick get happiness. It's too hard to think that he might not get it. Even right now, my heart is pounding and hurting thinking about what this character went through. Did I cry? Oh yes, yes I did.